Governor Green Lights Pro Sports Training Camps, Games In The Garden State

Written By Bill Gelman on May 26, 2020 - Last Updated on December 12, 2023
nj sports betting

Pro sports return to the Garden State is moving one step closer to reality.

Here is the Tuesday update from New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy:

While this marks a giant leap forward, it will be several more weeks before NJ sports betting action really picks up, and that has a lot to do with the leagues themselves.

Pro sports leagues have yet to finalize return plans

Several pro sports teams have New Jersey-based practice facilities. The list includes:

  • New Jersey Devils — Newark
  • Philadelphia 76ers — Camden
  • Philadelphia Flyers — Voorhees
  • New York Giants — East Rutherford
  • New York Jets — Florham Park

That being said, most pro leagues WHO were put on ice in March have yet to announce their return plans.

The NBA‘s idea of playing games in Walt Disney World is gaining steam. And the MLB is floating ideas that have yet to be approved by the players’ association.

No formal announcement is scheduled at this time. But that could quickly change.

Case in point, the NHL is finalizing its restart plans. Regular-season games have been on hold since March 12 due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Commissioner Gary Bettman is making a formal announcement today about specific plans. The popular theory centers around a 24-team postseason tournament.

Sports returning to action may not mean that fans will get to see that action live, though. New Jersey has yet to hit Stage Two of its reopening. Large crowds are still a thing of the past.

What about the NY Giants and Jets and the NFL?

On the other side of the coin, NFL teams are in the best shape. Sure, the 2020 NFL Draft was conducted virtually.

But the coronavirus shutdown has not impacted the regular season as it did with other sports. Whether or not the 2020 kickoff will include fans is another story.

But the good news with today’s news is the Giants and Jets can start practicing (as long as the league approves). Keep in mind, the first preseason game is scheduled for Aug. 6.

The Pittsburgh Steelers and Dallas Cowboys are playing in the Hall of Fame game. Then there are the Giants and Jets, who are scheduled to play Aug. 13 at MetLife Stadium.

NFL training camps open in July.

So, while we patiently wait for specific details to unfold, the NFL betting markets remain open with Week One point spreads on the boards at most NJ sports betting sites.

There appears to be a light at the end of the tunnel for New Jersey sports fans.

And after waiting this long for pro sports to return, what are another few weeks?

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Bill Gelman

Bill Gelman has been reporting on the NJ gambling market since 2018, right around when the Garden State launched sports betting. Bill transitioned from lead writer for PlayNJ and NJ Gambling Sites to his current role as managing editor in 2020. Besides offering in-depth analysis on NJ gambling market trends and news, Bill regularly sits down with Atlantic City casino industry executives to offer readers exclusive interviews and comprehensive coverage. Bill received a bachelor's degree in journalism from Ithaca College. He has contributed to other Catena Media sites including The Lines, Legal Sports Report, PlayPennsylvania and PlayCanada.

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